Named after the sleepy town in Tobacco Country where Downings roamed throughout the 20th century, OTTERVILLE is a new quintet led by Andrew Downing that evokes the peace, quiet and simplicity of small-town Ontario. It features Downing on cello, Tara Davidson on alto saxophone, Michael Davidson on vibraphone, Paul Mathew on bass and Nick Fraser on drums. The subtle, song-like of compositions and the contained virtuosity of the musicians take a sweet and contendedly nostalgic snapshot of the slow passage of time in the country and the joys that can bring.

This Year's Fancies

Andrew Downing and Güç Başar Gülle 

İstanbul, 2013

Anahtar is the Turkish word for 'key' and this project, not unlike the city of İstanbul Turkey, is like a doorway between East and West. Award winning Canadian musician and composer Andrew Downing has, for the last few years, been spending time in the great city of İstanbul absorbing the culture and the music. In the Spring of 2013 he was there studying centuries-old Ottoman/Turkish 'Makam' music and collaborating with ud (Turkish lute) player Güç Başar Gülle (with assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts). During his stay he happened to witness the 'Gezi Park' protests and subsequent violence that will change Turkey forever. These life-altering events inspired a series of compositions about the great city of İstanbul and its great mosaic of cultures, beliefs and people. The music combines East, West, old and new, and is styled after Makam music but with some Western performance sensibilities and forms. He recorded the music with Güç, kaval player Ömer Can Satır, percussionist/tabla player Gürkan Özkan and saxophonist Serhan Erkol.




Andrew Downing’s ensemble Melodeon is dedicated to the accompaniment of early 20th-century silent films through original live music. The group has been a performing entity since 2004 when Andrew was commissioned to write a score for the 1929 version of Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney for the Jackson Triggs Winery in the Niagara region of Ontario. Since that first performance, the group has performed Andrew’s scores for such films as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Shock, Maciste in Hell, Impossible Voyage, Alice in Wonderland, and an updated version of Phantom of the Opera with Vancouver’s Bach Choir. The group’s instrumentation of violin, cello, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, guitar, organ, trumpet and trombone with a revolving cast of players mixed with the combination of written and improvised material provides deep colours and sonic possibilities to accompany the imagery of the silent films.